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Cesarean Birth Support Thread June/July - Page 2

post #21 of 84
Thread Starter 
OK, my turn for a question.

Do any of you who have had multiple c-sections still hold out for a VBAC? I think the reason I was able to get pregnant again so quickly and have Ian was that I truly believed that I was going to have a VBAC. That was the thing that inspired my ability to hang on during the pregnancy. I really really believed I could do it.

But then I didn't.

Now, I really want more kids, two more actually. But I just don't want two more surgeries. My OB told me after Ian to just schedule one with any further pregnancies because that is how my body does it. And believe me, she is a great OB with an incredible VBAC success rate(over 80%). For whatever reason she knew I was not one of the canidates that was going to succeed. She basically told me that at one of my last appointments before the birth. Now after two I don't believe my body can do it. I don't think it's probably worth trying. But if I felt there was hope I think I would go for it again, because I am an eternal optimist.

How do/did you come to terms with having/scheduling cesearean births? It's just such a hard concept for me to grasp. I am such a huge natural birth supporter. I feel like a fraud though, since obviously I haven't been able to have one. :

We are talking about permenant birth control because this seems like such a huge obstacle to overcome. Have any of you given up having more kids because of the c-section prospect? Sometimes I feel selfish for wanting more than the two happy healthy kids we've got.

Anyone?
post #22 of 84
Alice, I wish I knew what to say. I don't know how to come to terms with it. When I started ttc ds2, I thought I'd come to terms with the "fact" that I'd have to have another section. Then I got pregnant...and the nightmares started...and the insomnia. My pregnancy was one long, drawn-out struggle for a VBA2C. I ended up getting cut again, and I still want my fourth baby, and now I'm intending to have a HBA3C, if and when (dh doesn't want another). But, I've put a lot of time and energy into trying to decide how I want things, and have reached the conclusion that I'd rather have another baby and another c-section, than no baby and no c-section. It wasn't easy to get here, and I'm still going to homebirth. But, if someone I trusted told me tomorrow that it would have to be a section, I'd still want to ttc another one. I expect that my next pregnancy (if and when) will also be plagued with nightmares, though.

I don't know if any of that is what you're looking for or not...
post #23 of 84
Oh - I also want to add that I will never have another scheduled section without labour. I did that with dd and have regretted it more than any other decision in my life.
post #24 of 84
Thread Starter 
Thanks Stormbride.

That is the only conclusion I have been able to come do on the whole idea. If I did get pregnant again, and even if I decide it will be another c-section, I would absolutely insist that my doctor wait until labor began on it's own. That is a non-negociable. I just can't justify scheduling a day and a time that is convenient. I think there are multiple benefits to allowing labor to start on it's own reguardless to how the birth ends.
post #25 of 84
I haven't given up on wanting more kids...I know dh and I will probably have at least one more, but the prospect of another c/s does give me lots of second thoughts about another baby.

I scheduled this last baby at 43 weeks when he went transverse and posterior, and I think if I had waited it out, my intuition tells me that my babies wouldn't have come out for another few weeks.

My thought now is that if I have another baby, I will see if I go into labor before 43 weeks. If so, I may UC or have a mw on call, but if not, I will probably schedule at 43 weeks again. I realize there are people who would wait longer, but I'm just not one of them.

I will say that if I get pg again I will of course take good care of myself, but I am not going to obsess about VBACs like this time around. If it happens, I would be ecstatic, but I want to be prepared for another c/s.

hope that makes sense.
post #26 of 84
Quote:
Do any of you who have had multiple c-sections still hold out for a VBAC? I think the reason I was able to get pregnant again so quickly and have Ian was that I truly believed that I was going to have a VBAC. That was the thing that inspired my ability to hang on during the pregnancy. I really really believed I could do it.
I am facing my third C-section this fall. It will be early and scheduled. I tried very very hard for a VBAC last time and it didn't happen. This time I am surrendered to the C-section, and honestly I have found it very freeing in many ways. Thinking about VBAC and how to VBAC and having the right provider for VBAC really consumed my pregnancy last time. This time, knowing I am just going to have the C-section has actually been less stressful for me.

I realize that my situation is different from most of you because there is not a care provider out there that would encourage me to have a vaginal birth in my circumstances. But I think it really bears thinking about how much stress and time and effort you want put into a VBAC, especially a VBA2C. It shouldn't be that way, but the fact is that it will be hard to find a supportive provider. Even a lot of home and lay midwives are shying away from VBA2Cs, at least this is what I am gathering from reading here and other places, and many women are having to go UC or have a ERCS. Only you can answer the question of how hard you want to fight for that vaginal birth and how much it is worth to you.

I think its also important to realize that just because you have a C-section does not mean that you have to give up everything that is important to you about your birth experience. In other words, don't be controlled, try to set up the experience you want. You can look for an OB/hospital combo that will help you have a positive C-section experience. You can meet ahead of time with the anesthesiologist to find out about anesthesia options and how to find something that gives you more of the experience that you want. You can find out about hospital policies and work to have the experience you want in terms of nursing, rooming in and newborn care that is in line with what you want. You can have an advocate there with you who can help you to deal with these things after the cesarean.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that having a planned C-section doesn't have to be a totally negative experience. You can mentally frame it so that you can derive as much positive experience from it as you can, even while mourning the loss of a vaginal birth.
post #27 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I am facing my third C-section this fall. It will be early and scheduled. I tried very very hard for a VBAC last time and it didn't happen. This time I am surrendered to the C-section, and honestly I have found it very freeing in many ways. Thinking about VBAC and how to VBAC and having the right provider for VBAC really consumed my pregnancy last time. This time, knowing I am just going to have the C-section has actually been less stressful for me.

I realize that my situation is different from most of you because there is not a care provider out there that would encourage me to have a vaginal birth in my circumstances. But I think it really bears thinking about how much stress and time and effort you want put into a VBAC, especially a VBA2C. It shouldn't be that way, but the fact is that it will be hard to find a supportive provider. Even a lot of home and lay midwives are shying away from VBA2Cs, at least this is what I am gathering from reading here and other places, and many women are having to go UC or have a ERCS. Only you can answer the question of how hard you want to fight for that vaginal birth and how much it is worth to you.

I think its also important to realize that just because you have a C-section does not mean that you have to give up everything that is important to you about your birth experience. In other words, don't be controlled, try to set up the experience you want. You can look for an OB/hospital combo that will help you have a positive C-section experience. You can meet ahead of time with the anesthesiologist to find out about anesthesia options and how to find something that gives you more of the experience that you want. You can find out about hospital policies and work to have the experience you want in terms of nursing, rooming in and newborn care that is in line with what you want. You can have an advocate there with you who can help you to deal with these things after the cesarean.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that having a planned C-section doesn't have to be a totally negative experience. You can mentally frame it so that you can derive as much positive experience from it as you can, even while mourning the loss of a vaginal birth.
Yes, you verbalized a lot of what has been going on in my head!

I was totally obsessed with a VBAC last time. I changed providers 4 times (we interviewed a 5th, but that was 3 weeks from my due date and we didn't have the money to go for a homebirth at the last second). I didn't trust anyone. I constantly felt like they were evil and out to get me and make me fail. I was consumed. My poor James, he was so supportive but I know he thought I was a little crazy. And all the worry, all the crazy ended up being for nothing. In someways I wish I had just decided from the start to have a c-section, it would have eliminated soooooooo much worry and stress. But, I am glad I tried a VBAC, because I got to experience labor which I didn't do with my dd, and I felt much more in control because I was aware of the prospect of a c-section, something I absolutely refused to consider with my first pregnancy. I was in control, and it actually was a very good experience. I just hate the recovery. But, I have read stories here on MDC where it sounds like recovery from a vaginal birth has been just as bad or even worse than my recovery from c-sections. And of course it's impossible to know what the outcome would be in the end.

I guess it's hard to know if you should have more kids or not no matter how you birth them!!
post #28 of 84
yes, egoldber, you hit it on the head. a planned c/s does not have to be a neg. experience and that's why this was and is a helpful thread to me, because MDC is a place where the vast majority of us spend time thinking about our birth experiences vs. just going for the epi. and spending time thinking about them, even if it's going to be a c (or especially so) is very valuable!

while grieving a vag. birth, I do feel like I was very informed and knew all my options, and so I don't grieve a loss of control like in my first birth too.

edited to add, before I get flamed, that I have had two epidurals and think it is good they exist, but that I think they are vastly overused.
post #29 of 84
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post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by egoldber
I talked to my OB about doing a few things "outside the box" at my planned C-section in November.

1) Leaving one hand unstrapped
2) Having baby on my chest immediately after delivery
3) Having 2 support people in the OR so that I was not "alone" for the stitching up part

My OB was fine with it, but said that her influence was somewhat limited since much of that is governed by hospital policy.

Anyone have any experience getting these types of requests accommodated at hospitals? Who did you talk to in order to make these things happen?
Me Kim, the Cesarean Goddess coming out of lurkdom---

Doctors can demand what they want. They can change and bend rules. Don't let them tell you otherwise. You can have two people in the OR. In fact most hospitals around the country allow this. One can sit by your head and another off to the side.
You can have both hands free. This is strictly your doctors call and has nothing to do with hospital policy. Don't let them tell you otherwise.

The only thing I can see being "delayed" is the baby on the chest immediately after delivery. Because you are a csection, they need to check the baby out first. Csection babies also lose their temp very quickly after birth, and thus need to be wrapped in the cold OR. (remember bathing baby will cause their temp to drop further). After baby is seen and wrapped there should not be a problem with them being up on your chest. (request a pillow to prop up your shoulders, neck and head)

When you get to recovery, you can do skin to skin contact. Request some heated blankets to lay on top of you and the baby.

Be sure to also make these requests known to your Anest., your nurse, your baby nurse, and your pediatrician too the day you go in.
post #31 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabeth
This may be a different thread, but did y'all know that Brooke Shields had a c/s with her first baby and then had horrible ppd? It was unplanned and after 24 hours of labor, not sure if medicated or not. She also described the "disconnect" she felt with her baby. her 2nd (planned c/s) seemed better.
One of the reasons she said she had such horrible PPD was not from the csection itself but the being unprepared for it. She just thought, assumed, believed like many of us that we would have babies naturally and vaginally. You feel disconnect when you are unaware and don't have the knowledge to facilitate bonding with a surgical birth. I could totally relate to this, because this is what happened to me the first go around. However the last two times, were completely different. This is one reason why she planned on having a repeat csection. She wanted to be prepared and not have another emergent or surprise situation. She wanted some control.
post #32 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
One of the reasons she said she had such horrible PPD was not from the csection itself but the being unprepared for it. She just thought, assumed, believed like many of us that we would have babies naturally and vaginally. You feel disconnect when you are unaware and don't have the knowledge to facilitate bonding with a surgical birth. I could totally relate to this, because this is what happened to me the first go around. However the last two times, were completely different. This is one reason why she planned on having a repeat csection. She wanted to be prepared and not have another emergent or surprise situation. She wanted some control.
I hear that!!! My PPD was raging the first time, and it all related to my absolute refusal to even consider having a c-section. I was plagued with self-doubt and failure. My second c-section was much better because I had a plan, and when it was apparent the VBAC wasn't happening it was much much easier to accept it and actually embrace it. No PPD this time (so far!).
post #33 of 84
yes, me too. That's why I was wondering about Ms. Shields because once it became apparent that a c/s was our best option, we planned the heck out of it to make it a *birth* as much as we could control it, which was suprisingly a lot.

sounds like the same happened for her. I guess I was wondering about it because she didn't mention her birth very much in talking about her PPD, when it sounds to me like it had quite an impact.

or perhaps I just read those trashy mags too much??? :
post #34 of 84

jumping in (long)

hi - found this thread and decided to throw in my story... so, this is a bit long… i had hoped to have my baby at my local free standing birth center - i felt comfortable with the midwives' style, liked the center and the fact that the midwives had privileges at the hospital.

starting at 28 weeks, my baby was breech. i tell you, i tried everything to turn her. at 36 weeks, still breech, but had a successful version. i was so excited!

my water broke a week after my due date. contractions started about 5 hours later and another 3 hours they were every 3 minutes. then, they backed off to every 7 minutes all night. we went to the midwife the next am who said i was 4-5cm, -1 engaged, all vitals were good, go home, and to call when the contractions got closer together. she briefly mentioned the baby was LOP, but did not suggest doing anything about it.

so continued to labor all day, then all night again. the middle of the night was the worst - after 28+ hours of contractions every 7 minutes, i was feeling exhausted. my dh, who was really a great support throughout, tried to stay up with me, but at some point he fell asleep. i felt quite alone at this point, but so darn stubborn - i wanted to be strong and at least wait until morning to call the midwives. we called the midwives at 6am, who said to get in a hot bath and see what that did. it felt awesome, but it slowed the contractions down. off to the birth center again - i was 5cm, fully effaced, still -1 or 0, and all vitals were good, but contractions now at least 15 minutes apart. the midwives gave me castor oil and told me to go home, drink lots of fluids and try take a nap.

well, 45 min later i booted the castor oil and couldn’t nap. we went back into the birth center. we tried blue-black cohosh, electric breast pump, and banding my belly. the midwife said if nothing was happening by about 3pm then we'd got to the hospital for pitocin because it had been almost 48 hours since my water broke. this little voice in the back of my head said - you're going to have a c/s in the end.

about 5pm we're settled in the hospital, pitocin starting to drip. it didn't take long for active labor to begin. i pretty quickly went through active labor and transition. i remember thinking - it's all been worth it - i'm going to do it! my midwife said she though i was fully dialated and thought i sounded pushy, so try. i didn't feel pushy, but tried. the baby's heartrate went down, so stopped pushing. she checked me again for a long time and thought she felt a lip way up there. she had an ob check too, and it took the ob a long time to also agreed there was a lip up there. my midwife said i really needed to sleep to have energy to push later. having an epidural would do that, and allow the contractions to work away at that lip while i slept.

i fell alseep for a few hours after the epidural - but i'm a horrible napper and just wanted to have the baby so really spent much of the night watching the heart monitor and enjoying the massages the midwife gave me. the midwife checked me throughout the night and about 6am said do you feel like pushing? so for 3 hours, i pushed in many different positions - but i couldn't feel how i was supposed to push. the midwife said i was still only +1, +2 maybe when i was pushed. i was still determined, but was also very exhausted after barely sleeping for 3 nights. the midwife talked to me about the next steps. she wanted to get some second opinion from the ob, but he was probably going to suggest a cs. and that's what happened. the surgery was quick, with my midwife and dh by my side and my beautiful dd was born 65 hours after my water broke. while, i was amazed at my daughter, it took a long time to feel the bonding i had hoped for. and for the first few months, i was totally obsessed with the labor - analyzing it from every angle.

so, while i was so pleased with my midwife at the hospital and actually, the hospital experience was much better than i thought, i have all of these questions still in my head - no need to answer unless you have a thought...
* after knowing the baby was LOP, should the midwives have suggested i do anything while in labor?
* should i have just called the midwives instead of doing it all on my own?
* should the midwife have suggested an epidural? is there something else that would have helped me sleep, but that would have allowed me to feel more so i push better?
* dd was originally breech - hey, did she just want to be born by cs?
* or am i overanalyzing. that i, and everyone else, gave it their best shot. i mean, i did do 48 hours, including transition, without an epidural. nothing was really done “wrong” per say.

i guess, more than anything, just needed to let it out. most of my friends have had fairly normal natural births - i don't think they understand how emotional this has been. as the months go by, i feel more at peace with it, but occasionally i'll hear about someone's perfect homebirth, etc and feel really jealous and start questioning things again.

anyway, thanks for listening!
post #35 of 84
Let me just say one thing and that is Thank you to all who post here.

Cesarean is sometimes treated as such a dirty word in the birthing community and let me say I can understand why when so many people I know don't even want to acknowledge that there is a birth experience to be had. But I believe that there is a whole other side where birth meets the medical community. Where a necesary cesarean can be a great birth experience. Well, that is what I believe now as I prepare for my fourth birth but first cesarean.

It will be planned, which from my research seems to be a somewhat easier road to travel.

The reason for my cesarean is sort of long to explain. After my 2nd birth (a homebirth) I had a post partum hemorrhage 10 days after the birth that landed me in the hospital for a 3 hour d&C , a uterine artery emolization, 5 blood transfusions and many lonely days without my baby never to be able to nurse him again. During this time, my rectum fell apart so nine months later I had to have reconstructive surgery (due to recurrent UTI's and plain ol' yucky undies if you get my drift ) Luckily the surgery worked (although she said to plan on a cesarean if I gave birth again).

Fast forward 6 years and I found myself pregnant and completely refusing a cesarean. My ob was fine with it along with all the midwives at the practice, but definitely a hospital birth. So, great birth at the hospital (as good as they can be) and I end up with 1 hour surgery directly after the birth (epidural, antibiotics although I did see my baby for 2 minutes ) to reconstruct the "shredded meat" to quote my midwife. The tears went up to my cervix so going into labor will not be a good thing for my body.

So by the grace of god and only one menstrual cycle I am pregnant again. I have been extremely angry and bitter these past few months thinking about the cesarean. I don't want to be associated with someone that has elective cesarean to avoid the pain of birth. Also, like one of the PP said, having to put my faith in incompetant medical "professionals", all of the interventions, and the actual fact that I am going to be cut wide open. Never mind completely missing out on actual contractions.

But as I have read your stories and as I have looked at my own births, I realize that all of this is really out of my control to begin with. I can make all the right choices, have all the good and right intentions, and still end up in the hospital, suffering for not getting what I wanted; What I feel I deserved, for myself and my baby.

I am coming to accept that natural doesn't always mean without doctors. I mean, without doctors and surgery, I wouldn't be here right now and neither would my 20 month old or the baby growing inside me.

I really believe that birth starts at the moment of conception. The relationship I have with that little spirit inside is absolutely magical. Who else will share all these experiences with me, all the food I eat, all the emotions I have, but this little person. How she gets into my arms to nurse in 4 months, shouldn't be the be all and end all of who I am. I will do my best and that is all I can offer.

Thanks for reading.

Stacey
post #36 of 84
Conniellama, welcome!

Sunshinegal,
post #37 of 84
Hi all! I had my son by C-section almost 18 months ago. I still find myself thinking about it and wishing I'd refused. He was breech and vaginal birth was not even discussed. I brought it up and it was immediately refused. No discussion, no talk, just NO. I had been planning a UC, but I wasn't comfortable with a breech UC for my first.

I went into labor the night before he was born and didn't realize it. I just thought it was another backache, which I'd been having over the last two weeks and I realize now were contractions that I felt in my back because of his position. The next day at work my water broke. It was just a bit, so I had a coworker take me to the hospital on base to check. It was confirmed and I was at 5 cm. My coworker then took me to the downtown hospital while I called DH. By this point, I had pretty much accepted that these doctors wouldn't let me have a vaginal breech birth. DH met me at the hospital.

I was taken into the OR and given a spinal. I had really bad shakes (nerves I guess) until the spinal kicked in. Then DH came in. There was no talk of strapping my arms down, but I was refused a mirror or a lowered screen.

DS's butt was nicked when they opened me up (it's ok, no scar or anything) and he had to be bagged to breathe. I didn't know that till afterwards, so I didn't freak out. As they got him wrapped up, DH looked over, smirked at me, and said "I can see the baby, can YOU see the baby?" I sighed and said "No, DH, I can't see the baby." After they wrapped him, they gave him right to DH. He showed him to me for a minute, then they had to go to the nursery because DS was grunting, where I later found they began giving him formula supplements immediately without my or DH's permission, though they did give it in a cup, so no nipple confusion.

I was in recovery by myself a lot because DH was with DS, then ran to the store to pick up a camcorder. I spent the next several hours (I don't know how long, I was really out of it) throwing up from the morphine and calling everyone I could think of.

DS and I stayed three days instead of two because of the grunting. After we went home, I recovered well and we worked out BFing (he didn't have a drop of formula after we left the hospital!). You can hardly see my scar now.

We're TTC #2 and I'm planning a UBAC. With the last pregnancy, I feel like I somehow knew I wouldn't get my UC. I know in my heart that I will get the birth I want with this one, but I also know to be prepared for anything.

I try to look on the bright side of things. At least now I can tell my VBAC clients that I know how they feel, that I've been there too.
post #38 of 84
welcome mamas and thank you for telling your stories.

Stacey--you are so right that a c/s CAN be a good birth. I'm sorry you've had so much trauma and I hope that this new little pea is a joy.
post #39 of 84
Thread Starter 


Hey out there!
post #40 of 84
So, I hit the six-month mark. Baby is awesome, but my family is soooooo not understanding of what I'm going through. If I have to hear the "but you've got a healthy baby" comment one more time I'll scream!

Also, my once-numb abdominal area is starting to regain feeling-- and it's not good! It hurts! I suppose it doesn't help that my daughter's feet reach about that area when we sleep at night and if she kicks it's right above my scar

Okay, I'm done whining. Here is about the only place I can vent. I'm on the ICAN mailing list but that seems to be mainly for VBAC support for already-pregnant women.
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